Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:24 CSB)

Christian Standard Bible (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2017), Lk 23:34.

The greatest example of forgiveness that we will ever see is found in this one verse. For those that are not familiar with the crucifixion of Christ, the events leading up to the crucifixion were horrible. The abuse that Christ suffered is unimaginable. Mocked, spit upon, beaten, forced to wear a crown of thorns, and forced to carry His cross. This is just the events leading up to His crucifixion. Imagine being nailed to a tree and left to die. Jesus, the Son of God, crucified, and He speaks these words, WOW!

Now to move up to todays time. All you have to do is watch the nightly news to see the acts of hatred. Mother kills child over spilt cereal, son kills father, daughter kills mother, brother kills brother, and there are so many other stories in the headlines. This group doesn’t like that group. Based on race, color, religion, and sexual orientation, there are groups of people that will protest and spread propaganda against these and many other issues.

There has only ever been one perfect person to walk this Earth and that was Jesus Christ. We all have flaws and mess things up no matter how hard we try, and that’s OK! Don’t you think that if Christ can forgive those that abused Him and eventually crucified Him, that maybe we can be more forgiving and tolerant of people that are different than us. We can get along if we try, I just know that we can.

When Jesus was asked by one of the Pharisees which of the commands was the greatest, Jesus had this answer:

 Teacher, which command in the law is the greatest?”
37 He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the greatest and most important command. 39 The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:36 CSB)

Christian Standard Bible (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2017), Mt 22:36–39.

The greatest being love the Lord with all your heart. Then next is to “Love your neighbors as you love yourself.” Who is your neighbor? Not just the house next door, but, everyone that you meet is considered your neighbor. The person in line behind you at Walmart, the one seated at the table beside you, and your co-workers.

This week try to spread the love, be kind to someone and see what happens. Together we can stop the hate.

God Bless,

Chaplain Howie


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